Archive for Coolest Piercings You May Have Never Heard Of


Maggie’s Lower Back Dermal Piercing

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Come see Maggie get her lower back dermals done!

What is a Dermal?

A dermal is a piece of jewelry that sits beneath the skin and has a decorative top that sits on the surface. Also knows under the term surface piercing, dermals are done using a dermal punch. The dermal punch is a hollow needle with an angled end that is used to remove a section of the skin to make way for the dermal anchor. The dermal anchor itself has flat base or ‘foot’ with holes in it which allow the flesh to grow through as it heals. This helps keep the jewelry in place and prevents it easily being ripped out. The exposed end has threading and the tops can be interchanged.

 The Process

Our friend James begins by cleaning the area and then marking and measuring for the placement of the dermals.  He then pushes the dermal punch through the skin, then slides the anchor into place and secures the top. He finishes by cleaning up the area and the end result is two lovely gems and one happy customer.


Caring for dermals requires keeping them dry and clean. Cleaning them once daily is sufficient, no more or you can dry out your skin and further irritate your piercing. Doing sea salt soaks accelerate the healing process and reduce irritation. Dissolve 1/4 tsp sea salt into 8oz of warm water. You can use a shot glass or cotton ball and hold this against your body for a few minutes to soak the area. Full healing takes about 2-3 months.

Beautiful Bindi

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There are very few styles that can stand the test of time. Fashion trends are meant to have a shelf-life, to develop, bloom, and then fade into memory. However, there are certain forms of decoration that transcend this definition and become something more than beauty enhancement. This is what it means to be iconic.

The bindi is one of those kinds of icons.

Bindis are a traditional sign of faith and devotion to the Hindu religion and accounts of it’s significance can be found in texts dating back thousands of years and have become a staple in Indian fashion.

The bindi symbolizes so much more than a religious devotion: it is a symbol of Indian identity and a culturally specific fashion accessory. Online debates about who should, and should not, wear a bindi are becoming more prevalent as the appeal of incorporating more “global” accessories into an everyday look become more common.

With the ever evolving history of body modification and piercing, the vertical bridge piercing has been described by piercing experts as an effective way to “customize the way you face the world” (The Piercing Bible). This kind of piercing should not be done casually; typical gauges for a bindi piercing are 16 or 14 gauge curved barbells which can extend the healing time of the piercing. Also, with the thickness of the piercing, minor but visible scarring can occur if the time comes for the piercing to be abandoned.

vertical bridge piercing

Wherever you are in the world, whatever your fashion taste, remember that only the best accessories can be considered iconic. Pierce or place a bindi on your forehead because it belongs to all of us.


Skin Divers Vs Dermal Anchors

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What is a Skin Diver?

A skin diver is a small piece of jewelry that is implanted partially under the skin. The base which is the part that lies under the skin’s surface has a pointed end. To insert them the piercer must use a biopsy punch to create a hole for the jewelry to sit inside. The ends which are exposed are non-interchangeable, so whichever color or style of jewelry you pick would not be able to be changed once  the jewelry is placed. The jewelry can be removed by the piercer should you decide you no longer want this piercing.


What is a Dermal Anchor?

Also referred to as a Microdermal, a dermal anchor has flat base or ‘foot’ with holes in it which allow the flesh to grow through as it heals. This helps keep the jewelry in place and prevents it easily being ripped out. The exposed end has threading and the tops can be interchanged with many colors and styles available. The method of placing this piercing involves the piercer using a dermal punch, which is a hollow needle with a slanted end. The piece of jewelry is then inserted into the pocket created by the dermal punch. This jewelry can also be removed by your piercer when you no longer want it.

The Decision:

Only you and your piercer can decide what’s best for you, but as a general rule Dermal Anchors or Microdermals are made of better quality metals and are less likely to be accidentally ripped out or reject. Still unsure? Check out AJ get her Dermal Anchors:

valley, or sacral piercing

The “valley piercing” is a surface piercing of the lower back that lies right above, or sometimes within, the cleft of the buttocks.  This funny and interesting contemporary piercing has also been known by many other names, including “butt crack piercing,” “sacral piercing,” and “coccyx piercing.”

Like most surface piercings, the valley piercing can be performed with either a single hollow piercing needle, two hollow needles, or the punch and taper technique, depending upon the preference of the client and the piercer.  Due to the area of the body in which it resides, this type of piercing can be difficult both to clean and to completely heal, and because of constant movement there’s a higher rate of rejection or migration than average.

 coccyx surface piercing

Valley piercings are worn almost exclusively with surface bars, though flexible PTFE or tygon bars have been used from time to time.  They can be pierced both vertically and horizontally, and sometimes will sit slightly higher up on the back.  As an alternative to the traditional surface piercing, some choose to get dermal piercings in the area instead.  Those who have tattoos across the lower back may also use valley piercings or valley dermals strategically to accent their body art.

 fun dermal body jewelry

Although valley piercings have been around since at least 2007, they remain rare to this day in both the US and UK.  For a long time these piercings were called by interesting alternate names by both the persons who wore them and the artists who pierced them, causing them further anonymity.  Many piercers throughout the western world have yet to even perform one, making them some of the coolest piercings you may have never heard of.

transverse ear lobe piercing

Tired of the same old ear piercings? If you are looking to get a less common ear piercing that looks cool and has minimal pain then this might be the one for you. A transverse, or horizontal, lobe piercing is an ear piercing that is done the long way on the earlobe instead of piercing from front to back.  The length of the piercing is parallel to the sagittal plane, or vertical plane, of the lobe. The transverse piercing does not pierce the cartilage, but goes only through the skin of the ear lobe. The jewelry sits as horizontal as the anatomy will allow. When wearing a barbell, one ball emerges on each end and sits on the ear with no shaft exposed.

The transverse lobe piercing is done most often as a freehand piercing, meaning no clamps or forceps are utilized, due to the type and amount of tissue. A receiving tube is often used. The exact piercing spots are marked then a 14 or 16 gauge hollow needle is inserted from the outside edge of the lobe to the medial edge of the ear lobe. Then, the piercing jewelry is inserted and fixed into the ear. Much of the technique involved with this piercing depends on the anatomy of your ear and whether your lobes are attached or not. Some piercers may use a curved needle on attached earlobes while a straight needle would generally be used on earlobes that are unattached.

attached and detached ear lobes

The look of the piercing makes it seem as though there would be prolonged agony as the needle passes through that much flesh. However, most people feel less pain when getting a transverse lobe piercing than with a standard earlobe piercing. The inside of the earlobe consists of mostly fatty tissue and there are not many nerves in the path of the needle. It’s just slightly uncomfortable.

It is possible to stretch a healed transverse piercing. However, the stretching process must be done at a very slow rate due to the fact that there is much less tissue around the area of the piercing than with most other stretchable piercings. A transverse lobe piercing can also be done though earlobes that are already stretched. Most people who get their transverse done when they already have stretched lobes will have the piercer do it through flexible, thin, silicone tunnels. You can also get custom tunnel plugs made that have holes drilled into them to accommodate such a piercing. The second option looks amazing, but it is expensive and would be somewhat difficult to change on your own. Labret studs can also be used.

horizontal ear lobe piercing

Healing a transverse lobe piercing can be a fairly worry free process. Normally, most ear lobe piercings are very quick to heal, but transverse lobes often take longer to heal due to the longer fistula. Healing time can take around two to ten months. Just as with any new piercing, it is extremely important to follow your professional piercer’s aftercare regiment and guidelines. Abscesses are the most common problem with this particular piercing. Salt soaks are very important to the healing of the piercing because they help with drainage and abscess prevention. Avoidance of swimming and contact with makeup, hair products, or lotion are often recommended, and extra care should be taken when brushing hair or undressing.  Cell phone and head phone use on the side of the fresh piercing should be limited, and sleeping on a fresh piercing is not recommended. And as always, wash your hands before touching your piercings to avoid infections even after they are healed.

There is a greater portion of the barbell inside the ear so it is also important to wear jewelry that you are not sensitive too. Flexible PTFE or bioplast barbells and rings are a good option for this piercing. A straight barbell is most commonly worn with non attached earlobes and a curved barbell is generally used with attached lobes. A BCR or circular barbell of proper diameter must be used; this however will be less comfortable on someone with unattached ear lobes. There is also a risk of migration with this piercing, and jewelry that is too heavy is most often the cause. If you have questions about your jewelry, your piercer is a wonderful resource.

A “smiley” is a piercing of the thin strip of flesh that attaches the center of the upper lip to the gum plate.  This piece of flesh is called the upper lip frenulum, and the piercing itself is consequentially also known as “lip frenulum piercing” or alternatively “scrumper piercing.”

 scrumper upper lip frenulum piercing

Like most oral piercings, the smiley is performed with a hollow needle after the inside of the mouth has been properly disinfected.  For this type of piercing especially, using a professional piercer is essential to prevent injury to the soft tissues of the lip or gums.  Aftercare is much the same as that of tongue and lip piercings and will often include rinses with special mouthwash or sea salt solution.  Due to its placement in a very high-motion area, this particular piercing may require extra vigilance to lower the risk of migration or rejection.

For the most part, smiley piercings will be worn with circular barbells (either BCRs or horseshoes), but occasionally a small curved barbell can be seen.  Of course, the wearer may have to pull back their upper lip for you to know it’s there at all, a definite plus for those who enjoy having unnoticeable or “secret” piercings.

 smiley piercing horseshoe rings

The smiley has become more popular in recent years, but as a fairly modern piercing (first noticed in the 1990s after publication in a magazine) there are some areas where lip frenulum piercing is virtually unknown, or at least very rare.  It also falls under a variety of names (scrumper, rooster, glicker) depending on locale, making it one of the coolest piercings you may have never heard of.

The rhino is a cartilage piercing done vertically through the tip of the nose.  Sometimes also referred to as a vertical nose tip piercing, the name “Rhino” comes from the piercing’s resemblance (particularly when tipped with a spike) to the nose of a rhinoceros.

 vertical nose tip piercing

There are two basic methods in which a piercing that would be referred to as a rhino is performed.  The first is very straight forward: piercing it through the nose’s end from underneath the tip and emerging through the top.  This is done with a standard piercing needle and is generally worn with a small curved barbell about the size of an eyebrow ring.  The second option is considerably trickier and involves the stretching of an existing septum piercing, which is then pierced through the healed fistula from inside and out through the top of the nose tip.  This style of Rhino piercing, though it gives a very similar look, is sometimes referred to as an inverted or reverse septril or “high septril” because of the methodology.

Aftercare for these piercings is very similar to that of any regular cartilage piercing, generally including sea salt soaks and gentle cleansing.  Due to the amount of cartilage being pierced through and the nature of its positioning, a Rhino make take slightly longer to initially heal, and care must be taken to avoid migration or rejection.

 small curved barbell body jewelry

Although this type of piercing has been performed in some tribal cultures, it wasn’t until after the year 2000 that westerners began showing up with Rhino piercings, many of the first doing so after trips to Africa or South America.  As such, the modern methods of performing a nose tip piercing have evolved fully only in the past few years across the US and Europe, making the rhino one of the coolest piercings you may have never heard of.

If you know where your uvula is, you might be astounded to hear that it can actually be pierced, but that’s exactly what a uvula piercing is.  For those who don’t know, the uvula is that dangling extension of tissue at the back of your throat, right in between your tonsils.  Since there are no official names for this piercing other than a few pieces of regional slang common to the US and UK, the piercing itself is normally simply called “uvula piercing.”

Oral Piercing of the Uvula

The uvula piercing is one of the more dangerous piercings a person can get, because of the potential for gag reflexes kicking in during the piercing process.  Due to its sensitive nature, it’s highly recommended that those who get a uvula piercing go to an expert piercer, if possible, one who has done this type of piercing successfully before.  Other suggestions for minimizing risk include practicing how to subdue the gag reflex, and doing several dry runs with piercing clamps in which the piercer will mimic the pressure to the uvula that would be experienced during actual piercing.

The first known uvula piercings were done by piercer Jon Cobb in the mid 1990′s, and since that time a rash of urban legends has come into existence concerning many false risks involved in actually having the uvula pierced.  For the most part, the only major issues concerning health and piercing of the uvula are infection and depending on the person, snoring.  The uvula moves around quite a bit during swallowing actions of the throat, but as a part of the oral/digestive anatomy, it’s commonly removed and holds no major nerves.  Aftercare for uvula piercings may include gargling with salt water, and occasional cleansings with a toothbrush, and the jewelry generally worn is circular barbells and captives.

Ball Captive Rings

If you haven’t heard of uvula piercing or thought it was a hoax, it’s probably due to the many false rumors circulated about it.  It’s mysterious, slightly dangerous, and the subject of countless tall tales, which probably makes it one of the coolest piercings you may have never heard of.

The ragnar piercing, also called a “deep snug,” is a modification of traditional snug piercing.  This is a piercing of the ear cartilage at about the point where the lobe blends into the helix, but unlike a regular snug piercing, the ragnar extends from the traditional snug point and goes through the cartilage of the helix (the ear’s outer rim) coming out the other side.  As a horizontal piercing, this makes it appear as though there is one ball at the inside ear rim and another resting on its outside edge.

Deep Snug Cartilage Piercing

Although modifications like the ragnar may have existed prior to its naming and exposure, the first formal photography of a deep snug piercing labeled with the name “ragnar” was published around 2002.  The piercing was shown on a man named Thure Ragnar Stedt, whom it was undoubtedly named for.

Because a ragnar piercing passes through such a large amount of cartilage at one of the crucial structural points in the ear, it often takes several months to heal completely and must be looked after carefully to avoid the perils of infection.  Some of the suggestions for aftercare when healing this piercing include not sleeping on your pierced side, sea salt soaks, and the avoidance of hair products for at least twelve weeks.  The jewelry most fitting for a ragnar is a barbell made of movable biocompatible material like bioplast or bioflex, because they are hypoallergenic and apply less pressure to the curvature of the ear than heavier solid materials.

Bioplast Barbell Body Jewelry

If you haven’t heard of the ragnar, it’s probably because of its rarity.  Although ragnar piercings have been around for about a decade, very few professional piercers can say they’ve performed more than one or two.  Almost everyone who sees one agrees though, that they love how interesting and different a ragnar looks, which probably makes it one of the coolest piercings you may have never heard of.

The Ashley piercing, also often called by it’s more technical name, “inverse vertical labret,” is a modern lip piercing in which one end rests inside the mouth (normally in the area where a standard labret would fall) and the other end is visible in the center of the bottom lip.  Although there are variations of this piercing done in pairs or to the side of the lip, unlike most others of its kind, all of them are generally referred to by the same name.

Inverse Vertical Labret style lip piercing

There is little information directly available concerning how the Ashley piercing got it’s name, but it is suspected that as with many other contemporary piercings it came from either the piercer who invented it, or the first person to successfully wear it.  And although it is similar to both a vertical labret and a jestrum (named for the first woman to be seen with it, Jesika Bornsen), the Ashley has not been around as long as either of these piercings, and is likely an inventive modification of traditional vertical labrets.

As with other piercings that pass through the tissues of the lip itself, many professional piercers who are familiar with this type of piercing recommend the use of a curved barbell to lessen the risks of migration and rejection.  Healing time is usually longer for an Ashley as well, averaging anywhere from three to twelve months, due to the fact that it’s placed in an area of the lip more prone to irritation and jostling from movement.  Normally Ashley jewelry is purchased or modified by its wearers to have a flat disc or dome instead of an actual ball on the inside of the lip, and is done in either a 14 or 16 gauge.

curved barbells for Ashley Lip Piercings

If you haven’t heard of the Ashley, it’s probably because of it’s age!  This piercing is still in the stages of being perfected and standardized, so much so that many piercers who have been practicing for years have never even performed one.  It’s new, it’s interesting, it’s pretty to look at; it’s definitely one of the coolest piercings you may have never heard of.